The Oregon Trail is a computer game originally developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger in 1971 and produced by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) in 1974. The original game was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. The player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding his or her party of settlers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon's Willamette Valley on the Oregon Trail via a covered wagon in 1848.
The game is the first entry in the Oregon Trail series, and
has since been released in many editions by various developers and
publishers who have acquired rights to it, as well as inspiring a number
of spinoffs (such as The Yukon Trail and The Amazon Trail) and the parody The Organ Trail.
The Oregon Trail was extremely successful, selling over 65 million copies, after ten iterations over forty years. It was included in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. It was a hallmark in elementary schools worldwide from the mid-1980s to mid-2000s, as school computers came bundled with the game. In 2016, The Oregon Trail was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
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